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Arizona Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

More Weather Delays

I made it through the heat wave! We had temps of 87-92 degrees for several days. I coped with that by getting up and going to work between 5:30-6:30 in the mornings, when it was still cool. I could work til almost 9:00 before it got too hot. After that, I’d go out for only 5-10 minutes at a time.

Now the heat has moderated, but the wind is back! We’re having 25-50 mph winds for nearly a week…next Wednesday is the next day with winds under 25 mph. (This is Saturday and the 3rd day of wind) I have tried for the past two days to go out and work early, but it’s been already too windy even at 5:20 in the morning. Soooo…we wait, read books, play on the Kindle and computer and eat too much.  I fear I am becoming an Early Riser. I seem to be always getting up around 5:30 and instead of hating it, I guess I’ve gotten used to it! I’ve never wanted to get up early!

I finished the foundation beams and have the bump-out floor all done and attached to the main house floor. (I was going to say “big house” but that would be ridiculous!)

I’ve got the rigid foam cut and fitted between each floor joist.

Rigid foam between joists

I thought I had them all nice and snug but in the 50 mph wind gusts, half of them flew away. I had to crawl around under the bushes to retrieve them all and replace them, with rocks to hold them down. That didn’t work either so I resorted to putting shovels and 2×4’s on them. Also I had painstakingly measured and custom-cut each piece, but after they flew away I just plopped them into any old empty space, and they fit just as well. Hmmm.

So that’s where we stand right now. The next step is putting R-19 fiberglass batts between the joists, and I held off doing that in the heat because it’s such a miserable job, and I didn’t have any way to take a shower afterward. I went to work on an outdoor shower. I had purchased a pump-up pressurized garden sprayer and jerry-rigged a kitchen sprayer nozzle onto it, thinking I could have nice pressurized showers with that. But it only holds pressure for about 10 seconds, then it just lets out a pitiful dribble. So I ordered a nice 2.5 gallon solar shower bag from Amazon Advanced Elements Summer Shower

showerbag

It was the only 2.5 gallon one I could find, it got great reviews and seems sturdier than the rest, which is important since I’ll also be using this in the house. (More on that later). I got a large $3 hula hoop from Dollar General and suspended it with some light rope, and added shower curtain rings all around it. I repaired and placed two pallets under a likely-looking horizontal tree branch and I’ll use a $6 concrete mixing tub as my shower pan; that way I’ll be able to save the water and reuse it on my little trees and bushes that are suffering badly in this drought.I already have two $1 shower curtains so it is pretty much ready to go. OH. I just went out to take a photo of the concrete mixing tub and it’s gone! I had put a big rock inside it but apparently that wasn’t enough to hold it down. Bye bye bin! I suppose it’s in the same “black hole” along with my grill cover and bucket.  I guess I can take a shower and just let the water go between the slats of the pallet, until I get back to town to buy another one.  At any rate, I don’t think I can keep the shower in place in the wind or I think it will shred the curtain, even if it’s bunched up and tied together. I will have to figure out a quick and easy way to get the hula hoop up and down each time.

My plan was to not have a shower inside the house; just a tiny potty room. I was going to build a nice outdoor shower, but I can’t figure out what materials to use that would withstand 50 mph wind. Heck, we’ve had as high as 85 mph winds here! I thought I could use shade cloth and the wind would go right through it, while still being opaque, but I have found that’s not true. I use some small shade cloths on the camper and over Roxie’s pen and they actually do resist the wind a lot more than you’d think. So I guess I will buy a 24×36″ shower pan and make the whole bathroom a “wet bath”.  I hate those and swore I wouldn’t have one, but it really would be much more convenient than having to go outside to shower, especially if it’s wintertime. Instead of making all the walls waterproof, I can use two shower curtains around the whole room and hopefully keep all the water off the walls and window. I can use the bucket potty as a shower seat.  I don’t plan to have a water heater, so I’ll still use the shower bag I just bought and fill it with warm water, not try to heat it in the sun. At some point I could possibly bust through the back of the bathroom (where the window will be) and make another bump-out for a larger shower room. Maybe some day.

I borrowed the neighbor’s trailer again and went to get all the 2×4’s for the stud walls. It was one of the really hot days so I was on my way to town before 7:30 a.m. I thought I’d be home by 10:00, hah! It takes a long time to pick out 73 good 2×4’s! After an additional stop for a few groceries, I got home at noon. I unloaded and stacked them all early the next morning. The wind has actually been strong enough to blow some of the 2×4’s off the stack!!

My stud wall materials! 73 2×4’s

My camper fridge has given up. So far my strategy has been to wish and hope it revives itself, but that doesn’t seem to be effective. It probably needs a good cleaning; it’s been two years since I had that done. I guess I will find a tutorial on line and see if I can do it myself. The last time I tried it, there was one part that I could not remove but I’ll give it another go. In the meantime, I’m using an ice chest and blocks of ice.  😦

Here are some links to Amazon products that other readers have recently purchased. Thank you for using any of the links on this page to access Amazon for all your needs!

Kindle Fire 7 $39.99

Burts Bees Face Essentials Gift Set

Chocolate Dipped Insects

 

 

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

Foundation Piers and Water Tank

Well construction has gone slowly; for two weeks we had very high winds (35-65 mph) at least 4 days a week. I tried but it’s really impossible to work in those kinds of wind, with silt blowing into my face. And sometimes it’s hard just to try to stand up against it! One day it blew down one of the little trees in front of the house site, which I really needed for shade! (Even though it was a little scraggly) Turns out it had been sawed nearly all the way through at the base..?? Maybe the shed guys did that. It would not have lived anyway. Maybe someday I can plant a prettier tree there.

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Finally I have the foundation piers done. For each one I dug down a few inches and filled the cavity with small gravel and tamped it down good, then added a large 16×16″ patio stone and leveled that. Then added a cement deck block and made sure everything was level again. The trouble I ran into was trying to get all the piers level with each other, and it was really hard and heavy work, having to keep removing the deck blocks, lift up the patio stones and rearranging the gravel underneath. Actually the first three went fairly easily, it was the last one that gave me fits. Then on one of my 2 a.m. think sessions, I decided to back up and do it differently.

The cement deck blocks have indentations that will accept a 2-by board going horizontally, or a 4×4 post vertically.

DSCN7693I was trying to use the 2×6’s horizontally but I remembered that with both my first and fourth house, I attached the floor joists to short lengths of 4×4. Then in order to level it, you just adjust the height of the 2×6 on the 4×4, it doesn’t really matter if the piers are level to each other! Phew….SO much easier! After struggling with the first ones for three days, I had the new ones all set up, level with each other and clamped in place in just a few hours.  I  had to use shims to hold the 4×4’s in place and plumb though, as the spaces in the deck blocks was considerably larger than the post. Then I drilled holes and bolted the 2×6’s to the 4×4 posts. Done! The floor frame will be cantilevered out from these supports on all sides. Now I’m waiting for some help to lift the floor frame onto the foundation.

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Another thing that I had to change was how to attach the hardware cloth to the underside of the floor. I am using 1/4″ hardware cloth as rodent protection. I got the floor all squared up and screwed braces across each corner plus added joist hangers, hoping it would keep it in square. Neighbor Frank helped me list it up and lean it against a tree so I could staple on the hardware cloth. Here it is leaning against the tree.

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I got out my handy clamps and unrolled the first piece of the mesh, clamped it evenly across the top and then when I clamped it to one side, I noticed that it was not lining up straight with the floor joist. So that meant the floor was not square any more.  Frank thinks the only way to do it is to lay it on the foundation, square it up and add the mesh, then flip it over. Ugh! That’ll be a lot harder than just standing it up, attach the mesh, and lay it back down. But I’m afraid he’s right.

I’ve also been working on the water tank support in my spare time. Three sides are done and I got the first course of cement blocks all laid and leveled on the 4th side, ready for the really heavy corner pieces which are two cement blocks stuck together, with post holders embedded in the centers. I managed to get one of them down so I could work on the leveling but they are too heavy for me to lift back up, so will have to wait on that also until Frank can come back and help with the lifting. I wish I was stronger but I already have back degeneration problems and the bad knee; I’m terrified I’ll injure myself and then not be able to work on the house at all. News Flash…Frank and his friend Tracy just left,  and they helped me finish up the water tank! Wow, now I can order some water! And they also laid the floor framing down and we got it squared up so I can now attach the hardware cloth. Yippeeeee! What a good day!

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Most of my seedlings are doing well, though they seem to grow really slowly. I think they are sooo cute, especially the teeny tiny lettuce plants. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about a garden; a discussion on Facebook about gardening showed that a lot of people have given up on it around here because of the critters who come and eat it all. Even in a friend’s greenhouse! I think I will maybe just have some container vegs and maybe even put them up on a table to keep the critters away. Right now they reside inside Roxie’s exercise pen during the day, or in the car if it’s too windy.

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Two varieties of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, chives, rosemary and a couple onions. The bell peppers never did germinate.

Oh and here are a few Amazon links; items that other readers have recently purchased. You can use these links as a gateway to the rest of Amazon’s products, and I get a small percentage. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra) Thanks! Also there are a couple links at the top right for donating……if you like the blog, please consider “a cup of coffee” for $3. I promise I won’t waste the money on buying coffee, LOL!  And for those who have donated, thank you so much!!

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Colorful Kids’ Telescopic Butterfly Nets

EHP Myristin Canine Joint Formula

 

 

 

 

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Arizona Micro House Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

Buh-Bye Purple Shed!

Just as I thought, the Shed Guy was waiting until he had another build in this area. He came by several days ago to look at the situation and said he was building a shed only about a mile from here! Then he came back two days later to get the shed. They had a much harder time of it than I thought they would…it took them over 3 hours! Because there were trees in front of the shed on both sides, they had to turn it sideways. They used big pieces of plywood on top of 6″ round fence posts as rollers. But as they turned, they also pushed it forward each time so eventually the shed was right up against one of the trees. I don’t know why they didn’t just give it another heave sideways but they didn’t….they pulled it out at an angle. They tied the tree back with a big strap so it wouldn’t break the window, but it still scraped all along the soffit….I think a little paint will cure that.

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Then they backed the trailer up and put a big ratchet strap all the way around the shed, and ratcheted it up part way onto the trailer. It was all very low tech; I thought they’d have a power winch or maybe even a forklift.

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Once they had it part way onto the trailer, they tried to pull it forward. Bad idea! At that angle, the back of the shed was only an inch or so off the ground. And they forgot about the 2 big rocks that used to stick up in front of the shed, and now were underneath it.

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So when they dragged the shed over these rocks, the back siding got pretty badly damaged. Oopsie! It’s hard to tell from this photo, but there were a lot of chunks of the siding left on the rocks.

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So here’s the house site now, all empty and waiting.

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And now I have to put my money where my mouth is….I have to build a house!!! What was I THINKING??!!!  In spite of having built 2 cabins, a houseboat and an 800 sq. ft. house, I am pretty scared. The last time I built something was 30 years ago, and I distinctly remember thinking that I was too old then. But I keep telling myself that this one is so much smaller, it won’t be too bad. I know it’s going to be very painful but hopefully it will go fairly quickly.

The next step will start today…..figuring out exactly where I want the house to go, and setting and leveling the the blocks to support the floor. I think I want it more to the right side so I can eventually have a little patio on the left, where it gets nice shade in the afternoons  It’s happening!!!

I bought a patio table yesterday! Lowes had a 40″ round glass-topped table for only $31 on sale, so I got it. Wow, I’m going to have a TABLE after 3 years without one!! And the best part is, it can even stay outside.

I started some seeds last week and some have already come up! I put them outside for a little while yesterday to get some sun, and when I went to check on them, all of the lettuce had disappeared!! Damn that Easter Bunny!!!  Apparently rabbits don’t like radishes, as they were untouched.  Luckily it’s early so I can start more seeds, and from now on I’ll put them either in the car, or in Roxie’s wire pen.

Here are some Amazon links to products readers have purchased recently. Thank you for using these links to access any other goodies you want to purchase from Amazon!

AKTIVX Sports Laces

Folgers Classic Roast Coffee 38.4 oz.

Oral-B Pro 1000 Rechargeable Toothbrush

 

 

 

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Arizona Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

Whirling Thoughts

Wow. It’s super windy today so I’m having a fun time staying indoors, Doing Nothing Constructive. My favorite activity! Sustained winds are 25-35 mph with gusts over 50!  I just checked the weather and it says the sustained winds are 30 right how. Yee Haw! The camper is rockin’ and rollin’ but I’ve got it oriented to face into the prevailing winds so I’m not worried.

My poor head has been whirling with thoughts and ideas lately! I am waking up in the middle of the night a lot, thinking about how to do some of the projects I have in mind. Google and You Tube have been getting a work-out! Isn’t it amazing; you can learn ANYTHING on You Tube! Really!! I guess I’ve mostly been working on finding cute exterior decor items which can be added at a later date, when money allows.

Here are some of my crazy thoughts. For one thing, I’m 99.99% sure now that I have The Plan. I’m going to build a little 8×8 tiny house with a 2′ wide front porch, sort of like this but with more of a Victorian feel.

SheShed2

I have the floorplan all done and my materials list done, plus all the drawings for wall, floor and roof construction.  I plan for this to be the ONLY structure….this won’t be a “build this little shed now and build something bigger later”. It’s going to be barely larger than my camper (64 sq. ft vs 58.5 sq. ft) but the difference is, the tiny house will have straight-up walls! I can have lots of storage cabinets, shelves, etc. on the walls, where in the teepee shaped camper I can’t have any. Also, if I want more space later on, I could add a little 6×7 lean-to addition onto the side of the house pretty cheaply, and that would be big enough for a twin bed and closet or potty room. Then I could remove the sofa/bed and use a couple small upholstered chairs and a table in the “living room” of the main house.

It will have a fairly steep 12/12 pitch roof, (same as the little house above) and since it’s only 8′ wide, I think I might be able to shingle it from a scaffold without actually having to get ON the roof, but I’m not sure. If not, I’ll have to hire someone to help for that part. I’d really like an even steeper roof, but I like this gingerbread trim for the gable peak, and I can use regular $15-20 corbels if it’s a 12/12 pitch (90º right angle) but if it’s anything other than 90º then it’s a special order and the price jumps to $60 and up! I really like this one; it’s $21. There’d be one up at the peak and also one at each side of the front porch, where the porch columns meet the roof.

Gable Trim

I like this Gothic arch window for up in the gable end too! It is small, just 9 1/2″ x 22″. It’s not meant to be a real window, just decorative, but I’m thinking I could add some plexiglass over it both front and back and mount it in the wall. It’d be 10′ up, so I don’t think it’d be too noticeable if it didn’t quite look like a real window. It is only $25 including shipping, and I’ve already figured out how to do the trim. (That was another of my middle-of-the-night ponderings) I think it’d be really cute.

GothicWindow

I’ve ordered the windows already, they are el cheapo aluminum frame playhouse windows, but I think they’ll do. They are sort of tall and skinny single-hung with grids…18″x36″. One for either side of the door, plus a shorter one for over the kitchen sink, and a cute 10″ round window for up in the back gable peak. All four for $110 including shipping!! That’s how I know they’re gonna be really nice windows….not! Sigh. I can’t afford to buy good windows. I imagine they’ll be like the crappy aluminum windows that come on most storage sheds.

I have to make my own front door because it’s going to be narrow, only 26″ wide. The biggest thing that needs to fit through the door is the refrigerator, and it’s less than 22″ wide.  I found some great You Tube videos on how to make a door, and it looks like I can do it with the tools I already have, though I probably will borrow the neighbor’s table saw to make the cuts more precise than my circular saw. I have made my own door once before so I’m sure I can do it. One of my middle-of-the-night sessions was, how to make a homemade door look sort of Victorian, for not much money?? I came up with the idea of putting in a regular plain glass window and glueing (using clear glass glue) beveled glass to it. At first I thought just rectangular bevels around the outside, but then I saw these cluster bevels on clearance for $6.50 (wow!) and I had the answer! I will make two window panels side by side, each 7.5 x 17. With a narrow stile between them.; that will make a 17×17″ square window. Then I’ll glue two of these cluster sets in; I think it’ll be awesome!   I’m a freakin’ genius!  Hopefully the glue won’t show on the inside, especially if I try to keep it to the outside beveled parts.

bevel-glass-cluster-mms-6037

I already have all my kitchen appliances lined up, thanks to a camping friend, Deb Capodice! She’s selling me her barely used  Camp Chef Portable Stove With Oven and an older model Dometic RM4223 3-way RV refrigerator, for amazing prices! This fridge is 2.5 cu. ft., slightly larger than my camper’s 1.9 cu. ft. one. No freezer. I’m thinking to get one of the very efficient Engel or Wyntner 12v portable compressor freezers someday and run it off the solar/battery system.  The fridge will go in the closet, with a couple drawers underneath it (to raise it up so I don’t have to stand on my head to see what’s in the fridge) and space for hanging clothes above it.  That will give me a lot more cabinet space in the kitchen. I already have a really nice Kohler cast iron bar sink that I got at a thrift store.

Here is a photo of where some folks built in a stove similar to this (though the stove in the photo is a $1500 Origo 6000, made for boats!) I like that it’s portable and if I want to bake something in the summertime, I can just take the whole stove outside!

StoveLikeMine

I am really hoping that if I insulate the heck out of this thing and put in continuous soffitt & ridge vents and a radiant barrier in the roof, that I’ll be able to keep it cool enough to stay here in the summer. I found some easy plans for a home-made “swamp cooler” (evaporative cooler) using a plastic bin and a $10 water fountain pump to drizzle water over an evap. cooler pad, with a 12 volt fan in front of it. It may not cool down the whole space but maybe if I direct the fan at me, I can stand it. Luckily it always cools way down to 60 or below at night here, so that will be a big help.  I think I’ll get some summer shade but it’s hard to tell since the sun will be coming in from a different angle than wintertime.

I’ll try to spiff up my floorplan to show you in the next post. The one I’ve got has too much scribbling on it!

Here are links to some of the items readers have purchased on Amazon. Feel free to use these links to browse and shop!

Nature’s Truth Ultra Tart Cherry Extract

Wireless Indoor-Outdoor Thermometer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arizona Uncategorized

A Little Delay

My shed delivery was delayed from Monday until Thursday. And I’m glad! I just decided Monday (the original delivery date) that I don’t want the shed in the site I had all picked out (and that neighbor Frank had cut a bunch of limbs off the trees, and I dug all the rocks out!) I think a better place will be right where the camper is sitting now. And oh how I dreaded having to move the camper! In addition to all the “normal” junk that I carry around, I now have a whole bunch of extra things that live in here now, since they can’t be allowed to freeze. Four house plants (including Celery), 5 huge cans of Great Stuff Pro, a big can of Great Stuff Gun Cleaner, a couple quarts of paint. I also had to dismantle Roxie’s little pen and dismantle the Buddy heater propane hose that’s threaded in through an outside baggage door, and it’s all duct-taped shut, too!  I wanted to hook a tow rope onto the ramshackle stupid-looking pallet “shed” that was here, but I couldn’t find my tow rope.

The new site has a lot of advantages and only one disadvantage; it won’t get much protection from the wind. But it will be South-facing, which is the best orientation for getting winter sun and keeping out the summer sun. I can leave the wifi booster in the same place, and I know it works great there. The solar panel also works great here, without having to reposition it at all during the day.  And the driveway will be shorter, if I ever get around to getting cinders for it.  And this site is much much larger. The other site was just too small; the front yard could only have been about 5′ deep, and directly in back I would have been stumbling around on big rocks.  This site has good access for a big propane tank and 275 gallon water tank as well.  So I’m pleased. Frank came over Tuesday morning and cut one tree down and cut a bunch of  branches back out of the way.

I worked all day yesterday on getting ready to move the camper. The new spot is right around the corner so it won’t be too far to go to reach the fridge from the shed. I’m afraid it’ll be awhile before I can spare the money for even a used RV fridge! I moved some more rocks and a pile of dead branches & twigs. There were 3 piles like that here, and now they’re all in one big pile. Hopefully I can burn it one of these days, if it ever rains. Boy I was really tired & sore by the end of the day. I finally got the camper moved and set back up right before dark.

Oh! And yesterday afternoon I heard some big equipment up on the hill, with the beep-beep backup alarm. I saw a glimpse of yellow and went flying up there….it was the road scraper guy! My road is a county-maintained road but in this huge subdivision with so few homes, they don’t develop all the roads unless someone lives there.  I have a stretch of rocks about 50-60′ long that I have to creep super-slow over. He said he didn’t think he could use the road scraper on them because some were really big, and they’d break the blade. But they have some special cinder mix of big and small stuff that they just put down over the rocks. He said he’d tell his supervisor about it, and I’d get a high priority……and that they always lay new gravel before the first snow, so it would probably be in the next 2-3 weeks!!  I’ll have a real ROAD! Wow… a house AND a road! I’m feeling pretty giddy!

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This morning the shed arrived. They had to drive up from Tucson, and arrived at 11:45. Within 20 minutes they had the trailer half unloaded and had a good start on putting the floor together! I had asked if they could insulate the floor at all, since it would be nearly impossible to do when it’s just a foot or so off the ground. They included 1″ of rigid foam in the quote but it’s so much better! Once they got the floor framing done, they tipped the whole thing up and nailed 4×8 sheets of Masonite to the whole underside. That will work as a vapor barrier and a mouse/rat barrier too. Then they let it back down and filled between the joists with loose cellulose, so it’ll be R-19! And the floor joists are 12″ on center, not the usual 16″ on center. It should be very sturdy!

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Tilting the floor to install Masonic on underside

The lead guy told me that the 2×3 windows I wanted came in with frosted glass! So they went to Lowes and the smallest vinyl double-pane windows they had with grids were 3×3. Yikes, that does make a difference to my plan but I can make it work.  I love the look, and they are high-quality Pella windows.  He said that the 3 windows cost him $550!! Three 2×3 windows would have cost well under $400, but since they have to eat the cost, I don’t mind. They are sliders instead of single-hung, but I guess that’s OK too.

He also gave me a choice of which end the 3rd window goes, so I chose the opposite end from what I had on my original plan. That way I’ll be able to see if someone is coming up the driveway, and all the mechanical stuff…fridge & stove vents, etc. will be on the side of the house that no one sees. I just have to flip my plan & make a mirror image. It’ll actually end up better, as I had specified a right-hinged door and that was wrong.

Wow I’m very impressed with these guys! They were here less than 6 hours and have the floor all done & insulated, the studwalls all up, windows in, and the roof all dried in! They really know what they’re doing. And the materials are quite a bit better quality than what *I* would have used. Better windows, and the sidng is 3/4″ tongue and groove…I probably would have used 1/2″ or even the cheapie 3/8″.  They caulk all the seams and spackle the nailheads before painting.  He said they have only ever had 3 callbacks for quality issues, and I believe it.

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Sorry about all the shadows on this last photo; it was getting late in the day. It looks rather plain but once I build the shutters and windowboxes, it’ll be really cute. They’ll be back tomorrow, for more excitement!

I’m getting one of these personal alarms, supposedly for use when you get mugged, the 130 db alarm scares away the mugger. But I’m not too worried about getting mugged; I’m getting one for use around here, if I’ve fallen and can’t get up, for instance. (Hey, I’m OLD!) It comes with a carabiner so I can hook it onto my waistband if I don’t have a pocket, it’s VERY loud, and the alarm keeps up for 30 minutes unless you shut it off. I’m going to tell the closest neighbors about it so if they hear it, they’ll come and check out what’s wrong. I saw a Facebook ad and they wanted $90…..this one is less than $10 on Amazon.   http://amzn.to/2BJCrqy

alarm

I actually looked into getting a Life Alert, but they require a land-line telephone.

 

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Arizona Uncategorized

My She Shack

Oops! It’s been pointed out that I jumped from “I can’t build it myself” to “I’ve ordered my shed” with no explanation of what it is I’ve ordered! Sorry. I decided to go with a Mennonite shed company in Tucson (4.5 hours away). They deliver free! http://www.Mennoniteshed.com.  If you go to their website, many of their sheds look like this:

shed

Really cute, right?! Especially with that hobbit door! Well, that’s a problem because it’s a shed door, and it wouldn’t keep the cold out in winter. It’s actually a square door, with the arch painted on. Also these are just 6′ walls. So I’m getting 8′ sidewalls and a regular house-type exterior door with 9-light window.  I love that they have roof overhangs all the way around, and the floor joists are 2×6 12″ on center, not the usual 16″. They’re willing to provide continuous soffit and roof vents, floor insulation and double pane windows. To me, nothing screams “garden shed” more than those roofs that stop at the walls, with no overhangs. Also it’ll have a 5/12 roof pitch, not that really shallow pitch most of the sheds have. Mine will look more like a tiny house!  There might even be space for a small loft; I’m waiting to see just how much headroom there’d be.

I also really like that they don’t use those ugle galvanized metal plates to hold the roof trusses together. Here’s what theirs look like:

roof joist

So it’s going to be 10×16, with three 24×36 single hung windows (with double pane glass) and just the one door, no double doors on the end.  They really gave me a good price, for all the extras (double pane glass, house-type door, floor insulation, soffit & roof vents) they are only adding $400 to the stock price!  I staked out 10×16 on my site and it’s HUGE!  Almost 3 times the size I’ve been living in!

My first task will be to add reflective radiant barrier to the roof and sidewalls. It really reduces the amount of heat buildup inside the shack in summer! I’ll leave a 1″ gap between the roof and the radiant barrier, to let the vents do their job and carry the heat away.  This makes for what they call a “hot roof” which does shorten the lifespan, but at my age (69 today!), who cares?  It’ll still outlive me.  I will also need to leave a 3/4″ gap between the radiant barrier and the inside of the siding, and that heat will have nowhere to go but at least it won’t be leaching into the interior space. I found some foil-covered 3/4″ rigid foam board at Lowes that I’ll be using. I was so happy to see that; it combines two steps into one! The alternative is to staple Reflectix (foil-backed bubble wrap) to each of the joists & studs, then add the rigid foam or other insulation.

I will use all rigid foam in the roof, as I’ve read that when it snows, it blows in the roof vent and can get everything all wet. They don’t have much snow here, but when it does, I sure don’t want my ceiling insulation getting all wet and moldy (which could happen if I used fiberglass) Besides, with just 2×6 roof joists, I’ll need the extra R-value of the foam.(Most real homes have 2×10’s or even 2×12’s, depending on the roof span). I looked at how much insulation is recommended for my area and it’s the same amount as the southern half of Michigan!!  There’s no way I can match that, but at least it’s small and will be easy to heat.

And since I’m going to be making a 3/4″ airspace in the walls and adding 3/4″ foil/foam, I will only have 2″ of space left so I guess I’ll use the 2″ thick denim batts.  Can you imagine installing fiberglass batts and then not having a shower afterward??!!  Shudder!!

I’m still patiently waiting for a build date. They are thinking about pre-fabbing it and bringing all the components here to erect on-site. I’d love that!

 

 

 

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Tiny Homes

Tiny Homes

While researching info on tiny homes, I ran across these figures. According to the advocacy group Wider Opportunities For Women, the monthly expenses for Americans 65 or older in 2013 totaled $1,645 for a single person living in their own house without a mortgage, $1,966 for a renter, and $2,481 for a single person with a mortgage. This includes housing, food, transportation, healthcare and miscellaneous expenses. Well gee, no wonder I have such a hard time living on my income then; I’m obviously about $400 short every month! Though that figure includes some expenses for utilities & taxes that I don’t have, I think I could live well on $1645 a month.

I could also live well in one of those tiny homes, but boy, are they expensive!! I know I could build a cute little cottage for way less, but my body is just not up to it any more. I built a 10×16 cabin with loft when I first moved to NC, and an 800 sq. ft. home across the driveway later, with help from 2 good carpenters. I worked as the “saw man” for those same two carpenters when I ran out of money. I later built a 12×24 houseboat pretty much single-handedly and a 13×22 barn-style cabin. My brain tells me I can do it but my body objects strenuously to the idea.  My aching back would make me stop working after about 10 minutes of bending, and then I’d have to rest up for awhile, so I’d end up maybe being able to do 30 or 40 minutes of work a day……it would take months to build even the smallest cabin. Sigh. I really want a place to call my own, where I can have a little garden, a stove with oven, and a refrigerator with freezer. Throw in a comfortable chair and I’d be in heaven!

I read somewhere that you can use just plain vinegar and water as a shampoo! So I tried it today on both Roxie and I. The vinegar does not smell once the hair dries. I’m pretty happy with the way mine turned out; Roxie is still wet. If this works, it will allow me to keep Roxie MUCH cleaner, as I just need enough water & vinegar to get her wet all over, no rinsing necessary. For my own hair I was using a No-Rinse Shampoo (which I did rinse a bit, as it felt a bit sticky without it). I really didn’t like putting whatever all those chemical are, on my brain pan. I have enough memory problems now without adding chemicals to the mix!